Of Resignation and Recycling
Was it only 79 days? Barely a little over two months and a half, not even way past the first 100 days of his administration and already, it’s showing signs that the house of cards is slowly falling apart.
The latest crumble is the resignation of President Junior’s executive secretary Victor Rodriguez. He claimed he “asked permission to step down as Executive Secretary,” which is “a 24/7 job with myriad topics expected to be attended to every day.”
While he believed that “there is nothing more rewarding than answering the call to serve the country, a rare privilege… equally valuable, however, is to witness firsthand your young family grow and evolve into how every parent would wish them to become and they most need me too.”
Conjectures point to his involvement in the sugar importation mess as the major reason for Junior to let him go. Though in his explanation, it’s a choice between remaining a public servant and the guiding hand to his growing up children.
But wait, Rodriguez is not altogether leaving the Palace grounds. He goes to the recycling bin to be washed and coated with even more powers than the Little President, the other title of an ES.
However when you look at it closely, it’s seems oxymoron that on one hand he is stepping down as ES to have more family time but on the other hand, he continues to be of service in the Palace with even more responsibilities as the Presidential Chief of Staff as well as the head of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS).
It really is contradictory with no less than the most senior of Junior’s adviser, former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile vehemently against the creation of the Office of the Presidential Chief of Staff (OPCOS) armed with overarching powers of supervising and ensuring “the efficient and responsive day-to-day operational support to the presidency to enable the President to focus on strategic national concerns.”
Created under Administrative Order number 1, OPCOS will serve as the coordination mechanism of the Office of the President. It will be in-charge of the president’s security monitoring system, which shall be responsible for providing regular situation reports to the President on a real-time basis.
And for symbiotic semblance, Rodriquez’ office will be tasked to supervise and closely coordinate with the PMS, presidential advisers and assistants.
Fine, OPCOS is a copycat. In 2000, President Estrada established the OPCOS, said to be a “temporary position” but maintained by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo until it was scrapped altogether in 2008.
We’re all watching what follows next since Junior is currently in New York. If this admin order stands, then Rodriguez becomes the seventh COS, joining the ranks of highest paid economic analyst-turned politician Joey Salceda and late former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
As for his replacement, Palace already has a short list and included in it is the name of Education Undersecretary Epimaco Dansing III. Let’s see how this will work out.
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